How to share news using RSS and Atom Feeds


RSS and Atom feeds are both methods of content delivery just like other delivery systems -- television signals, radio transmissions, and newspaper deliveries. When delivering content, there is a publisher and there can be many consumers. The industry standard terms are “publishing a feed” and “pulling a feed.” In Drupal, the publisher creates different feeds by adding different category terms. Consumer web pages then pull the feed by selecting and adding that category feed to their website.

RSS image of iconFrom a user perspective, RSS and Atom feeds work the same way; the icon for an RSS feed and an Atom feed is the same. 

How to Create News Feeds using News Categories

As the publisher or creator of News Content, you first need to create your news category options. The categories will later be used to pull individual news feeds. As the publisher, you will create News items for your website, as well as offer other websites the option to publish the feeds automatically and dynamically on their own websites.

  1. From the administration task bar, select Structure

    Structure image1
  2. From the list at left, choose Taxonomy

    Taxonomy image
  3. From PWDS News Categories, select list terms or add terms

    List or Add image options
  4. To add a category, select +Add term. As the publisher of news, you will use these categories to create your news feeds. Be conservative when adding categories -- start slowly!

     Add terms
  5. For this example, the category Faculty News will be added as a category.

    Add news item image
  6. Click Save

    Small save button

How to Create News Items for Feeds

  1. From the Admin task bar, select Add content to create a news item.

    Addmin add image
  2. Select News item

    Select News image
  3. Create your News Item by filling in the required fields. Select a Category if you wish to publish the news item to any news feed. You can choose more than one. For this example, the category Faculty News will be selected. Note that by default, all news items will appear on your own News page.

    Faculty news image
  4. Click Publish and/or Save as draft (to continue working later).

    Save or Publish image

How to Publish a News Feed (Pull News from Site A to Site B)  

  1. Go to the News page of the website that is publishing news. (Site A).
  2. Go to the bottom of the News page and locate the news feed icon. RSS image of icon
  3. The icon represents all of the News feeds from the publisher (Site A). Right-click on the icon and select Copy link address if you want to consume all of the news from the site. The address will be copied to your clipboard. You can right-click on any feed from any news source. For this example, the Princeton home page News is selected.

    right-click copy instructions

  4. If you only want to pull a specific feed (based on categories assigned as documented above) click on the More feeds link.

    RSS feeds image
  5. Right-click and select Copy link address from the news feed category you wish to publish on your own website. For this example, the Faculty News category will be selected. The web address is then copied to your clipboard.

    right-click copy instructions
  6. Now go back to your own website (Site B). Go to an existing page (or a newly created page).  Click Customize This page

    Customize this page image
  7. In the sidebar, or any region you choose, click the Plus sign + to add a new pane.

    add pane image
  8. Select News Feeds

    Feeds image

  9. Click the green Add tab

    Add image
  10. Use the paste command (Ctrl +V) to paste the feed link from Site A into the Feed URL field.

    where to paste URL image
  11. Click Finish
  12. Click Save


At this time, news feeds consumed from a publishing site cannot be shown in the News Slideshow. The News Slideshow is designed to only show News on the page of the original publisher. The News Slideshow cannot show News from other websites. At this time news feeds also cannot contain images, and the News Slideshow requires images in order to present the news as a slideshow.

Configure External News Feed Widget

The News on Site B sorts by most recently published date. You can use the configuration settings to override the title to rename your feed differently than the Publisher. You can alter the appearance using different headers styles, as well as other options. Click on the Gear to access the settings panel.


  • New News items may not appear on your website for up to 9 hours.